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I'm Almost There! Please Help!


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#1
JSlayer

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Hello All,

I have most of the components for my new computer. Right now I have:

Thermaltake Armor Series Full Tower ATX Computer Case
eVGA nForce 680i SLI MoBo
Intel C2D 6600
COOLMAX CTG-1000 ATX12V 1000W Power Supply
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000)
eVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB Video Card
Acer Office Line 22" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Sound Card

Now I need to find a good DVD burner/player and fast hard drives. Without a doubt these two areas are my weakest when it comes to knowing what to look for. Can anyone please steer me in the right direction, what numbers should I be concerned with when rating a harddrives performance? Or a DVD burner for that matter. Keep in mind this computer is only going to be used for gaming......nothing else.........EVER! :whistling:

Thanks in advance for your time and any help you can offer,

JSlayer
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#2
pyron81

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Hard drives stick with name brand. Never buy OEM trash! As for what you looking for. Typically the higher the RPM's the faster the hard drive transfers data. 7200 I think is close to standard in most. Other than that to me all hard drives are the same...it boils down to personal preferences of what has worked in the past and what has not.

As for a DVD burner. I really can't say not sure how they rank up. I would think just like a normal CD ROM that they are all similar with some different options for some brands and not for others.

When in doubt...google is your friend. Google the brand....read the reviews...make a decision. Sometimes I will use places like Newegg or even Amazon to find reviews about a certain item before buying it.

Good luck! :whistling:
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#3
warriorscot

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Optical drives are really cheap now just get what you like thats the fastest you can get for the least cash. Hard drives SATAII and a 16mb cache and if you can try and find some of the really new ones with flash memory in them as well however i havent seen any about yet for desktops. Other than that the performance difference between brands is so small just get whatever one is cheapest or has the longest warranty.

Reviews from tech publications are the best, they are properly tested and if you rely on reviews from buyers on sites you get a skewed view because noone will provide hard evidence and of course most will only go back and comment if they have a problem or the product is particularly good.
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#4
JSlayer

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Hard drives SATAII and a 16mb cache and if you can try and find some of the really new ones with flash memory in them as well however i havent seen any about yet for desktops. Other than that the performance difference between brands is so small just get whatever one is cheapest or has the longest warranty.


Ok, I've heard people talking about SATA II? Sometimes I've even seen that listed on a hard drives stats, but others just say SATA 3.0g? Is 3.0g reffering to the speed that SATA II operates at or is this another type of SATA drive? I'm confused :whistling:

From what I have seen, it's either 1.5g or 3.0g. I'm speculating that the SATA operates at 1.5g and the SATA II operates at 3.0g? Am I even in the ball park? If that is the case then I have a starting point, but if it's not would someone mind clarifiying this for me.

I've also read posts that talk about the Western Digital Raptor being a good harddrive, but then they go on to say that they are only about as good as the lower end SATA II drives. Then there's the Raptor X series which is supposed to be better than the other Raptor's. I was looking at the Western Digital Raptor X 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive in particular because it had 10K RPM, but is that really what is important? :blink: What am I missing here besides everything, LOL!

Thanks for your time and any help you can offer, it is greatly appreciated.

JSlayer
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#5
stettybet0

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You are right about SATA and SATAII. except that it's gb/s not just g. :whistling:

I personally LOVE the Raptor X, it's phenomenal for loading times for Windows and games. I do know, however, that warriorscot disagrees with me. :blink:

I'd get a Raptor X for games and the OS, and a SATAII with 16mb cache like warriorscot said for data. I hear though that these harddrives with flash memory built in will be able to load your OS nearly instantly. Not sure when they come out, but when they come out, obviously you would want your OS on that.

Also, for optical drives, with your mobo you are going to want SATA drives. The evga 680i only has 1 or 2 IDE connectors, but 6 SATA connectors. It's designed with support for SATA optical drives in mind. SATA is next-gen for optical drives, and as such, has a bit of a speed advantage. The downside is that they are more expensive than IDE drives and are less available.

Edited by stettybet0, 07 March 2007 - 07:24 PM.

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#6
james_8970

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First hybrid hard drives are being produced and will be in mass shipping this quater, they are only for laptops to decrease the wattage consumption at the time being, this will not be the case for future models. Don't buy a raptor they aren't worth it, games you won't notice a huge difference, the only main area's you'll see a difference is hard drive intensive programs such as photoshop, but again the performance difference isn't very noticeable to justify the cost. The x version, with the glass is pointless, its just anothing bling bling feature that no one will care about after the first time they see your build, its also an additional 50$.
James

Edited by james_8970, 07 March 2007 - 08:24 PM.

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#7
stettybet0

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Well, the Raptor X looks awesome in my clear case :whistling: but James is right, without a clear case, the X is pointless. (though it is only $20 more than the non-X version).

I do notice a difference in games, especially in things like loading maps for BF2. However, my old hd was a SATA 7200rpm, so of course the Raptor will outperform that.
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#8
JSlayer

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First off thanks guys for the input. I can see there are differing opinions about which way to go.

I do notice a difference in games, especially in things like loading maps for BF2. However, my old hd was a SATA 7200rpm, so of course the Raptor will outperform that.


It's interesting that you mention BF2 because that is the game I play primarily. I've also been getting into 2142 and Supreme Commander. This rig is going to be used for gaming and gaming only, so obviously things that will impact gaming performance are more important to me. I'm not as concerned with price as I am with making sure I get the best device for my needs. I'm very interested in Warriorscot's reason for not liking the Raptor X. I haven't heard anything bad about it until now.

The only thing holding up my build right now is deciding on the right harddrive. Keep the comments coming, this is good stuff!

Again, thank you all for your time and help with this, I realize we all have busy lives and making time to help a complete stranger is pretty awesome. Thanks,

JSlayer
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#9
warriorscot

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Well every review ive read has usually shown raptors to be faster in most things but not so much in gaming compared to the better SATAII 7200 16mb drives some of them were even faster than the raptors on load times(i think you can give that to the fact that the speed is lower but the data density is higher) and games arent actually all that hard disk intensive if you have allot of RAM its going to be fairly useless and because of the faster speeds the drives wear much faster than normal ones, you cant get as much data on them either new games are HUGE at 9 gigs a piece or larger you can only have a few installed on a raptor at any one time, and for those rather mediocre improvements and not so small disadvantages you pay 5 or 6 times the normal price of a HDD of its size, its 30 pounds less than a 750Gb drive and i would rather spend the cash and have one of those or a 500Gb drive that is cheaper than the raptor instead. And for the money a 7200rpm drive for gaming the performance is going to be so similar its unoticable, and like i said they can perform faster because raptors are actually not as advanced as allot of drives the Xs now have NCQ but the old ones didnt which was why they got beaten by slower drives.

They just arent even close to being worth the money they are made for A. serious media developers with high demands on hard drives but cant quite afford SCSI and B. Gamers with more money than common sense, if you want hard drive performance go for the professional route and get SCSI drives but really for getting the most out of your money a SATAII 16mb in the 320Gb-500Gb range offers by far better price/performance and simplicity as well.
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#10
JSlayer

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Warriorscot,

Now that is some serious info to crunch! Thanks! So I can assume when I see a drive that says it's 3.0 gb/s it's SATA II? I'm going to post a few of the HD's I'm looking at now for review and comments. I'll have to do that tonight because I'm at work.

Let me ask you another question, I have often seen people talking about how they have thier HD's in a RAID configuration, like RAID 0 or RAID 2. What does that mean? I have two HD's in my old computer, the one that came with the comp, and one I purchased afterwards. All I did was slave it to the original drive. I know this is probably opening a can of worms but, what does it mean when drives are in a "RAID" configuration?

Thanks again for the help,

JSlayer
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#11
warriorscot

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RAID(google it or look it up on wikipedia for more info) basically is a system for automatically managing multiple hard drives, you have striped which is designed to make a number of identical hard drives and use them all at once and coordinated to improve performance although the performance overheads mean that it is limited in usefulness for things that dont need very large files transfered quickly its more the purview of video and sound editing games dont really gain anything from it because the hard drive isnt actually used intensively enough to make it worthwhile and you lose data security as one hard drive fails the data is all gone on all of them it suffers from some of the flaws of raptors basically the simple and easy way is also the best when it comes to a gaming rig.

There are a few other types of RAID there is mirrored which adds data security by having and exact mirror image of your drive on another identical one and there is also a striped/mirror combo(needs at least 4 drives) and there is a mode that just allows you to take a random collection of drives and make them appear as one single drive and there is another with a slightly lesser version of mirroring for use with a striped array that stores parity information that can regenerate damaged data and only needs 3 drives.
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#12
JSlayer

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WARRIORSCOT,

Ok I checked out a few HD's on Newegg. What do you think of these?

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136039

This link is a comparrison of all the ones I thought looked decent. They looked fairly close, but the reviews were mixed and I remembered what you said about reviews like these. They might be skewed. I have no doubt you'll give it to me straight. Thanks,

JSlayer

Edited by JSlayer, 09 March 2007 - 02:12 PM.

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#13
warriorscot

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Of the lot the first two one the list and of those the barracuda is probably the one i would get, i tend to prefer the seagate barracudas or maxtor diamondmax drives and they were usually the ones i recommend.
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#14
stettybet0

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out of those, i'd go with the 2nd one as well.
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#15
JSlayer

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Thanks again guys for your input! :whistling:

I have to ask though, I noticed you both said...of those.....you would go with the second one. Is that because its the drive you would choose or the drive you would choose if given only those to choose from? For instance Warriorscot mentioned the maxtor diamondmax drive. Are there any other brands I should have included in my search? I was under the assumption that Seagate and W.D. were the 2 big players in the HD industry. But I guess you know what they say about assuming. :blink:

I also thought it was interesting that the drive you both chose had the most customer reviews and was clearly the highest seller. Its looking like it might be Seagate. Thanks again for your time and help guys,

JSlayer
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